Cyprus Mail

MPs discuss future of Natura 2000-protected Cape Greco

The lighthouse at Cape Greco

MPs on Wednesday discussed the protection and promotion of the lighthouse area of Cape Greco with the aim of upgrading research facilities there.

It was proposed that a lighthouse museum should be established in the area as well as the upgrading of facilities for research purposes.

Speaking after the meeting of the House education committee, committee president Kyriacos Hadjiyiannis said that the area is a Natura 2000 protected zone and therefore there could be no “commercial development”.

He said that projects in the area should be carried out in such a way as to enhance the cultural and ecological value in the area.

It is understood that much of the infrastructure in the area had been leased in agreements with the French government and these deals are now expiring.

This is has raised the question of what to do with the infrastructure “left behind”, Hadjiyiannis said.

Akel MP Nicos Kettiros that as the agreement with the French government expires now the area being granted to the forestry department.

“A comprehensive plan must be drawn up to protect and utilise the facilities as well as the lighthouse,” Kettiros said.

The words development and protected area usually draw great suspicion and concern which he also addressed.

“There are rumours circulating that some people want to exploit the area for commercial reasons. We consider this unacceptable. It is a Natura 2000 area which is unique in Cyprus and the whole of Europe.”

Diko MP Pavlos Milonas also said that: “unfortunately before us the relevant authorities did not have the answers to many issues which were raised during the meeting – this once again shows lack of organisation and understanding.”

He concluded by saying that the last lighthouse keeper is still alive.

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